Jennifer Loomis is a renowned photographer known for her work in family and maternity photography. Despite the fact that you may be restricted to a hospital room or other sterile environment during the first 24 hours of your baby’s life, Jennifer says there are some easy steps to take to create memorable photographs of your newborn:
1) Set the Environment – Set up a space properly with a cloth backdrop in a solid color such as black, white, light pink or light blue (no dark pink or dark blue) with no patterns. Many newborn shots are taken with the baby either wearing only a diaper or nothing at all, so make sure the room is very warm. It should be at least 75 degrees or warmer so that the baby’s temperature is regulated (babies don’t have a lot of natural warmth). A good gauge is that it should be warm enough for you to want to wear a t-shirt or tank top.
2) Have Proper Lighting – lighting should always be indirect, such as near a window, never direct. Natural lighting is preferred over using a flash. If placing the baby near a window, make sure he or she is lying parallel to the window frame so that he/she is sidelit, not backlit.
3) Use a Variety of Poses – Jennifer Loomis recommends taking photos of a baby both during sleep and awake states. For the sleeping pose, she likes photos of babies either only wearing a diaper or in the nude. Put the sleeping baby’s head in palm of your hand, or on the shoulder of mom or dad without clothes on. You can also curl the sleeping baby on its side on the black backdrop with no clothes on (again, make sure to use indirect sunlight). When the baby is awake, you can lie him or her on his/her back or stomach with the head in dad’s palm, or either parent holding child while wearing dark solid clothes. For a beautiful scale shot, you can shoot the baby’s hand in dad’s hand or the baby’s foot in one of the parents’ hands.
Shoot a variety of angles: wide (whole baby), medium (from the waist up) and tight (baby’s face only). Jennifer Loomis likes black and white photography for a dramatic effect, however, most photos today are taken with digital cameras. Many of the higher-quality digital cameras feature black and white settings, so it is possible to get photos in both schemes.